Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Surgery
Postoperative Instructions for Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Surgery
Please contact our office at 216-286-6801 to schedule a follow-up appointment for two to three weeks after release from the hospital.
Repair of your inguinal hernia does not require any diet restrictions after surgery. Of course, you should strive to eat healthfully for general purposes, but in the long run a person can digest foods normally after groin hernia repair.
Some patients may find that their appetite is poor for a week or two after surgery. This is a normal result of the stress of surgery, and your appetite should return in time. If you find you are persistently nauseated or unable to take in liquids, contact our office and let us know.
It is OK to shower starting around 24-36 hours after surgery. If you have bandages on the incisions, take them off before showering.
You should see little pieces of tape (called steri-strips) directly attached to your skin. It is OK to get these little tapes wet in the shower. The tapes will begin to peel up on the ends 7-10 days after surgery – at this point they have done their job and it is OK for you to peel them the rest of the way off if you wish. You do not have to have them on when you come for your postoperative visit.
We try to close your incisions to leave the smallest possible scar. Do not put any ointment, medications or healing aides on your incisions.
You will be given a prescription for an oral pain medicine. This medicine can be constipating and we recommend taking Milk of Magnesia (2 tablespoons; twice a day) while taking the pain pills to avoid constipation. Unless your surgeon advises you otherwise, you should continue all of your pre-operative medications on the same dose and schedule starting the day after surgery.
There are no medical or significant physical restrictions on activity after laparoscopic groin surgery. That means it is OK to walk, climb stairs, lift, have sexual intercourse, mow the lawn, or exercise, as long as it does not hurt. Let your pain be your guide on how much you can or should do. In fact, returning to normal activity as soon as possible will most likely enhance your recovery.
You may also feel easily fatigued for a week or two following the surgery. These factors will put some limitations on your activity, but you will not cause any damage even if some soreness is experienced.
If you want, you may return to work right away; however, as a rough guide, most people take at least one to two weeks off prior to returning to work. If you need particular documentation for your job, call the office.
You will usually be allowed to drive when you no longer need narcotic (prescription) pain medications for two days.
When to call
Call your surgeon’s office if any of the following occur:
- Fever to 100.4 or greater
- Shaking chills
- Pain that increases over time
- Redness, warmth, or pus draining from incision sites
- Persistent nausea or inability to take in liquids
The first bowel movement may occur anywhere from 1-10 days after surgery. As long as you are not nauseated or having abdominal pain, this variation is acceptable. Constipation can occur after this operation, and taking milk of magnesia (two tablespoons; twice a day) can prevent this issue.
Some patients find that their hernia returns right after surgery. Do not worry: this is a normal feeling and/or appearance. The hernia repair did not fail; the place where the hernia contents were can sometimes fill up with postoperative fluid. This fluid is a normal result of surgical dissection and will usually be absorbed by the body in several weeks.